Physical Therapy Students Attend National Student Conclave

Pictured Top Row Left to Right: Stephanie Daniel, Hannah Lawson, Paige Patrick, James Rowe, Stephanie Miller, Sydney Askew, Jessica Prince
Bottom Row Left to Right: Rachael Lacey, Hayley Abell, Katie Jones, Spencer Calhoun, Dixie Edalgo, Erin Moore

Thirteen second-year students in Georgia Southern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program traveled to Providence, RI to attend the National Student Conclave (NSC) through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

NSC is a conference held specifically for students in DPT and physical therapy assistant programs. The conference is designed to prepare students for their future career in the field of physical therapy.

During the three-day event, students had the opportunity to attend four educational sessions on self-selected topics ranging from Traveling PT 101, Cancer Rehabilitation and Pediatric Boot Camp, to Residency Education After Graduation and network with peers, professionals, and APTA leadings.

“The conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn from leaders in our field, network with many leading corporations in the realm of physical therapy, and increase my motivation for the profession,” recalled James Rowe.

While at the conference, Georgia Southern students celebrated PT Day of Service by participating in the Build a Hand Event, which is a community service project where students helped to assemble prosthetic hands for individuals around the world. The event was a favorite for many attendees including Stephanie Miller. “A hand is something we take for granted until we no longer have one. I had the privilege of helping build one along with my peers. It’s amazing to know how wide our career reaches!”

Stephanie Daniel noted how attending the conference has rejuvenated her passion for the field. “After being able to meet PT and PTA students from across the country and our professional counterparts, I feel eager to learn more about this field,” stated Daniel.

DPT Students Perform Fall Risk Assessments in the Community

Front Row, L to R: Mary Carpenter, Sara Baker, Riddhi Patel, Averi Donaldson
Back Row, L to R: Kelsey Pack, Ashley Chafin, Ryan Sullivan, Claire Greer,
Molly West, Philemon Miller

Each year, approximately one in four older adults fall. In recognition of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day (September 22 and the weeks surrounding it), a group of first- and second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students from Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus joined physical therapy students from all seven accredited physical therapy programs in Georgia along with clinicians throughout the state in performing fall risk assessments on older adults.

Georgia Southern DPT students performed assessments on residents at Savannah Commons, and those attending Windsor Forest and Crusader Golden Age Centers.

“We wanted to go to places that are close to the Armstrong Campus,” said Dixie Edalgo, second-year DPT student. The close proximity allowed for students to be able to conduct assessments in between classes and helped to foster a sense of community near the Armstrong Campus.

Screenings were, in part, to answer the call for increased involvement of state academic physical therapy programs in screening activities, and to answer a call from Anne Lorio, a faculty member at Georgia State University, who lost her father due to the consequences of a fall earlier this year.

Sixty one senior adults were screened over three days. Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, 22 senior adults were found to be at high risk for falls and 31 were at moderate risk for falls. “Most of those found to be at high or moderate risk for falls were unaware that anything was wrong,” said second-year DPT student Delicia Bell. Individuals found to be at moderate and high risk for falls were advised to consult with their primary care provider.

Though most senior adults were appreciative of the efforts of Georgia Southern’s DPT students, it was the students who were grateful and learned a great deal from the senior adults. “I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. I learned a lot from just talking with the senior adults. I was really surprised how at risk so many of them were,” said Philemon Miller, a first-year DPT student.

Golfing for a Cause

This past June, the Valley of Savannah Scottish Rite Masons hosted a golf tournament to benefit the RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus. The tournament was held at Bacon Park Golf Course in Savannah, Georgia.

RiteCare Centers were established in 1950 in Colorado as a philanthropic project of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction to help children with speech and language disorders. The RiteCare Center on the Armstrong Campus is one of approximately 180 centers throughout the United States that is supported by the Scottish Rite and is a functioning outpatient speech-language pathology clinic, serving individuals from Savannah, Georgia, and the surrounding areas. The clinic also serves as a training facility for graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program on the Armstrong Campus.

Working together, the Scottish Rite Masons and graduate communication sciences and disorders students from Georgia Southern registered 40 players in the golf tournament. Graduate students also assisted Scottish Rite Masonic staff with mulligan sales, 50/50 raffle sales and presenting awards after the tournament.

Maya Clark, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, program director of the Communication Sciences and Disorders program and interim department chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, was also in attendance and thanked the golfers for their participation in the event.

The golf tournament will be held annually by the Scottish Rite Masons and is the largest fundraiser of the year for the clinic. With the registration of 40 players and 47 hole sponsorships, the tournament grossed $8,688.00 for the day. Profits from the tournament are added to a lump sum donation, which is given to the RiteCare Center each year in December.

Future fundraising events held by the Valley of Savannah Scottish Rite to benefit the RiteCare Center on Armstrong Campus include a Walk for RiteCare. The event will be held Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Lake Mayer Park in Savannah, Georgia. Contact the Scottish Rite office at to request a registration form. In addition, the Scottish Rite Orient of Georgia is hosting their annual $10,000 Raffle. Tickets for this event can be purchased by emailing

To learn more about the services offered at the RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders on the Armstrong Campus, visit

Physical Therapy Students Gain Hands-on Experience Over the Summer

Georgia Southern University Doctor of Physical Therapy students had an extremely busy, but rewarding, summer experience during their pediatrics semester. In addition to a rigorous summer class schedule, the 3rd-year students were involved in engaging with children, both on-campus and off.

Activities included: hands-on learning about children with chronic diagnoses; providing age-appropriate and developmentally-appropriate physical activities to children at Communication Camp; and engaging in a community-based aquatics program for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. The aquatics program experience was made possible by Harper Aquatics, and Communication Camp participation was in conjunction with the speech and language pathology students at the RiteCare Center on the Armstrong Campus.

In addition to this, the Southeast area representatives from NuMotion, a provider of durable medical equipment, and Convaid, a global provider of seating and mobility equipment, joined the students on campus to provide the largest demonstration of pediatric equipment that the Armstrong Campus has been a part of, to date.


NSSLHA Chapter Awarded 2018 Bronze Chapter Honors

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (National NSSLHA) has awarded Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in Savannah with 2018 Bronze Chapter Honors.

The NSSLHA Chapter at Armstrong Campus helped National NSSLHA increase awareness of communication sciences and disorders among state and federal legislators, contributed a donation of more than $10,000 to the ASHFoundation’s NSSLHA Scholarship, raised more than $15,250 for the 2017-2018 NSSLHA Loves campaign, and supported clients, students and organizations in local communities across the nation.

“I am so proud of our students in NSSLHA,” stated April Garrity, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and faculty advisor to the chapter. “They made a commitment to attain Chapter Honors at the beginning of the academic year, and they did it. This is the first time we have earned Chapter Honors since I began serving as the faculty advisor 10 years ago.”

National NSSLHA Chapter Honors are awarded to affiliated NSSLHA chapters that demonstrate an outstanding effort to support National NSSLHA’s mission to inspire, empower and support students in communication sciences and disorders programs.

About the NSSLHA Chapter at Georgia Southern University

The NSSLHA Chapter on Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus exists to enhance education and pre-professional experiences for students majoring in communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The CSD program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. National accreditation ensures that the program meets specified standards in the areas of administrative structure and governance, faculty and instructional staff, curriculum, students, assessment and program resources. Students graduating from an accredited program will be eligible for state licensure and national certification.

About National NSSLHA

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association is the only national student organization for students who are studying communication sciences and disorders recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Established in 1972, National NSSLHA is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, and supports 13,400+ members and 300+ chapters at colleges and universities nationwide.

Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus 

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Dept # 5902
11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419